Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Simplicity Theme

This is the Simplicity theme for WordPress. It is designed to be a cool, clean, simple theme that keeps the focus on your content. The main features for Simplicity are:

  • Fixed width or fluid width (configurable)
  • Two columns or three columns (configurable)
  • Widgets support
  • Gravatar support
  • XHTML and CSS compliant
  • Simple design
  • White/light coloured
  • Presentable on modern mobile devices

I created Simplicity because I could not find any existing theme that I was truly satisfied with. The greatest difficulties are that most themes are fixed width, and most authors could not care less about XHTML and/or CSS compliance.

This is my first attempt to create a WordPress theme. The features are quite basic at the moment, but moving forward, I hope to get these things done:

  • Much greater customizations through the Admin theme options page
  • Update to XHTML 1.0 Strict compliance (currently it is XHTML 1.0 Transitional)

This theme makes use of the Theme Toolkit, with a few minor fixes: 1 trivial bug fix, some updates to text, and HTML fixes for XHTML compliance.

Download Simplicity:

154 thoughts on “Simplicity Theme

  1. Hey, the theme looks great. I am excited that you created it and posted it, because I am hoping to utilize it. I am new to WordPress… I have been doing webdesign for a while, and had a blog at blogger. I recently bought my own domain name (it’s been a long time coming)… and seemed like WordPress would be the best. My learning curve for PHP and WordPress has been slow coming though. Anyways, something complaint like this is exactly what I need to have it match the rest of my site. Thanks

  2. Hi Zit Seng,
    you made a great blog theme here.
    I have just a question about resizing the colums.
    I want to have a bigger left and right comlumn and with my amateur css knowledge i am not able to fix this.
    I wanted to update the css file but I dont know what parameters to change.
    If anyone else is able to help me, you are welcome. My mail is tobitatze@gmail.com

  3. You’re in luck. I was just making this a configurable option which you can set in the Theme Options page. I’ve put out latest update you can download from here at https://zitseng.com/simplicity.zip. I will be uploading it to the WordPress Theme Directory later (they usually will take a while to post it up).

    The CSS to lookout for is basically #outer-column-container, #left-column, and #right-column. There are some width settings in there.

    Thanks, I’m glad you like the theme. 🙂

  4. Hi Zit Seng.

    Nice blog theme you have there. Am using it now!

    Currently playing around with the CSS and trying to make the columns wider. Thankfully, you have answered that in the previous comment. 🙂

  5. heeeeyyy

    i am using your simplicity theme and i’ve been modifying it to suit my style. it’s cute! but. i would like to have more space between posts on the main page, and i’m at a loss as to what i should modify and where to do the change. i’m giving up for the night, but i hope you can fill me in!

    by the way i found the theme because it was featured on wordpress. i don’t know if that’s a new deal for you or what but good job nonetheless. i’m in three column lala-land finally.

  6. Thanks. 🙂 To get more space between the post, you can edit the “.post” class in style.css. What I have now is :

    .post {
    margin: 0pt, 0pt 1em;
    text-align: justify;

    You can increase that 1em there to whatever you fancy. 🙂

    In future I’ll probably also add support for a custom.css to make it easy to add your own custom styles.

  7. I am using it, it looks great! Here is a bug report:

    the H1 may is white, but the content of the blog may have H1 tag. That make the letters disappear because the background is also white.

    h1, h1 a, h1 a:hover, h1 a:visited, #header .description {style.css (line 146)

  8. Not through the Theme Options page at this time, although this is something I plan to do. In the meanwhile, you could modify the #header style in style.css.

  9. Hi,

    I don’t see how the options allow you to change the column widths. It’s just not there.

    I tried widening the width of the columns, but the blog appeared warped

  10. I would really like to use this but I get an error when I try.
    Fatal error: Call to undefined function: language_attributes() in /usr/share/wordpress/wp-content/themes/simplicity/header.php on line 9

    I’m running WordPress version 2.0.12-alpha (via Debian stable)

    What versions of WordPress do you support? Can you document that?

  11. Hi Bill, sorry that this was not documented. I had developed done this theme with WordPress 2.6 in mind, but it is likely to work from 2.5.

  12. Hi Zit,
    Very clean theme, and fluid width, thank you.
    Two questions:
    1. Can I disable displaying the tags at the end of the post.
    2. I changed the width of the right sidebar to 250px, but when I did, extra space was added to the right of the screen area, any way to eliminate that?

    Thanks again.

  13. Hi Dave,

    About the 2nd question: Ok, I took a look at your blog and noticed the problem. It seems that the extra right space got introduced due to the tag cloud “overflowing” the margins. I managed to replicate this problem on my site using the ST Tag Cloud widget (which is from the Simple Tag plugin). But the WordPress built-in Tag Cloud widget seems to work ok (at least for my site). Perhaps you can give that a try?

    As for the 1st question on removing the display of tags… I guess for now you’d have to edit the code in index.html. Look for:

    ‘); ?>

    and remove it. I’ll try to include this option in the next theme update so you wouldn’t have to edit the code. 🙂

  14. There is a small non-XHTML-compliant bit in your otherwise great blog. Comments.php uses invalid attribute ‘aria-required’ in the comment form in some conditions… This causes w3c html/xhtml validator to return “validation failed”.

  15. That’s true. But it isn’t the doing of the theme per se though. Also, it seems area-required et al are going to become accepted as “standard”. Thanks for the feedback!

  16. No problem… Your justification for the non-standard option is good… Just thought to mention in case you would be like me – I get bothered if I cant get my page validated 100% and it bothers me until I fix it 🙂 I choosed to use your theme as base-style on my blog… However there has not been much I had to modify, minor things and additions to style.css mainly – your theme works and looks so good as it is that I just didn’t need to “make it mine” to use it 🙂 Thanks.

  17. Hi Zit,

    We absolutely love your theme. It is going to stay with us as we grow into a massive support and sales site, thanks! My question is this, how can I not use the sidebars on the front page and still use them on all other pages? is there also a way to make the sidebars have different content based on the page? I tackeled your logo issue I saw mentioned early, that was a lot of coding work! LOL BTW, I left the text logo on the left intact for the search engines, I just changed its color to match the background so it wasn’t visible… Food for thought for your logo inclusion. Thanks again and keep up the great work! have a great day!

  18. Hi Zit,
    Thanks for the theme. I am using it. It is great that you kept it simple: I have been playing with the header tonight and had not much trouble adding in some new divs and styling the text.
    Compared to other themes I have looked at – where you could sped a month second-guessing the code – this is very easy.

    Here is a worry for you though: I am looking at your blog here and the left menu has been pushed below the center column!!
    I am using MSIE 6.0.2900. Text size is set to Medium. But even setting to Small does not fix the problem.

    Also, on this particular browser, some of your pages (various other ones) have the right-side column positioned beyond the right edge of the browser window – no matter how wide I make the browser I can only see the first few letters of items in the right column.

    On this page here, the right column starts not UNDER the header but to the LEFT of it. It can only be seen by scrolling right – no matter how wide the browser window is (and I do have plenty of width to play with – wide monitor).

    Yes… the joys of liquid layouts and cross-browser worries!

    On the rest (non-blog part) of my site I had to use browser detection to get some fluid-layout issues right for IE.

    I usually use Linux and Firefox – where all your code works as I would expect it to.
    Just jumped over to my Windows machine to see if my theme modifications were working out okay in MSIE.

    As for my blog site using Simplicity, I am using fixed-width. I decided a while back that I will never again use liquid layouts. There is always some pesky thing that takes hours to figure out.
    (They usually work great until you test them on IE.)

    On my site — in MSIE 6 — the right column is within the browser window, but it floats a lot further to the right than it does in other browsers.

    As far as I have tested, your code works fine in Opera.

    Sorry I can’t tell you what the answer is for MSIE 6 — yet another wrapper div maybe???

    Will let you know if I figure out how to make the right column stay close to the middle column like it does in Firefox.

    Oh — and one other thing: while styling my header, I came to think that in your stylesheet…

    ” #headerimg .description ”
    should be
    ” #headertitle .description ” because #headertitle is the div that the description is sitting in.

    Anyway, thanks again for an easy theme.

  19. Hi Zit,

    Thanks for the theme. I get the same problem with your site using ie6 as Carl. I have a similar problem with my site I have fixed it for the moment but it’s doesn’t look pretty.

    I have fixed the right column by making the body width 90% but I don’t know what fixed the left as I have never seen that problem with mine.

    If you want my code drop me a line but it isn’t great as really I’m no programmer and just hack about until it looks better.


  20. Hi Chris and Carl, thanks for your input.

    The problems with ensuring cross-browser compatibility is indeed troublesome. Ok, I’ve managed to lay my hands on a MSIE6 computer at work and have noted the problems with rendering on MSIE6. I think I’ve about gotten it sorted out. If you can, see how this site renders in MSIE6. I’ll clean up the code and package up a new update asap.

    Mark, I’ll indeed include a logo image display option. Configurable for left or right side. 🙂

  21. Hi Zit,

    This page here (on MSIE6) has everything positioned correctly tonight. Beautiful.

    The only problem I noticed on this page relates to this very box that I am typing into:
    If I type a long line this reply box grows beyond the right-hand browser window.
    If I use the mouse to re-size the browser window it all re-sets into the correct dimensions again.
    Looks like one of those dreaded MSIE-re-size issues.

    For the record, I just checked this page in Konqueror on Kubuntu as well: again, everything is positioned correctly.
    (Earlier tonight I checked somebody else’s new theme in Konqueror and it was a complete wreckage.)

    This is probably not even an issue to most people, but I can’t help noticing that quite a few people come into my sites with Konqueror.

    And another one: I just can’t stop myself tonight…
    Checked this page (and others on your site) on Opera 9.24 on Linux: everything is positioned correctly.

    My problem now is…
    Last night I messed with Simplicity (looking for a quick fix) until it was truly broken.
    Looks like I’ll be needing a fresh download.

    There are so many issues with columns – the combinations of widths, margins, padding etc.:
    these problems are bad enough with a plain single page.
    I really don’t know how you manage to keep it under control when the divs are spread out over a number of templates.

    Have been browsing for other reliable 3-col layouts today.
    There are plenty of nice ones available – BUT… so many theme-makers are aiming to produce an impressive visual masterpiece.
    I didn’t download any of them.
    Some of us only want a robust layout we can trust and a stylesheet that’s understandable.
    We can always add our own tweaks, colours, fonts, borders etc. later.
    Makes me think there will always be bloggers needing a theme like Simplicity.

  22. Hi Carl, I’ll check out the expanding reply box as soon as I get back to a MSIE6 computer.

    All: Meanwhile, I’ve put together v0.3.8 for download (https://zitseng.com/simplicity.zip). I’ve also uploaded to the WordPress Theme Directory, but that usually takes a while to become publicly available. 🙂

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